Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Arts, music, composition.  ---  .This section considers principles and methods of composition in music.  ---  12/30/2003

Arts, music, composition.  ---  .This section is about music composition.  Topics include: .   ---  1/24/2006

Arts, music, composition.  ---  A record or set should run the gamut of emotions.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  All sections and parts must work well, and work well together.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Arrangement: who says what, when, how, why.  Depends on the number of instruments, total and of each type (brass, woodwind, string, percussion, etc.)  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Arrangements.  Pick your instruments, bust up song between them, orchestrate by style.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Arranging for guitar.  How best to arrange a pop song for solo guitar and voice?  What types of rhythms and chords to use?  ---  9/24/1998

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Blurring the line between rhythm and melody.  A melody of short, repetitive notes played within a narrow range of pitch  has a rhythmic effect.  ---  11/13/2004

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Composition goal: all well elements working well together, for words and music.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Composition problems.  (1) Too much or not enough of a thing.  (2) Temporal parts don't flow.  (3) Element parts don't mix.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Composition takes energy, instinct, taste, drive, emotion, and vision.  ---  01/01/1993

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Composition: for all styles.  Start with simplest and most prototypical musical statements, and work to complex, esoteric and wide ranging musical statements.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Composition: structure, unity, variety, and flow.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Compositional techniques.  Add (fill in, decorate), subtract (leave out, minimal), expand, condense.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Emotions: pleasure vs. pain songs.  Serious and heavy vs. silly, funny and light.  Areas: sex and work.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Find a foundational chord progression, melody, rhythm and poem, then add the other stuff.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Four track recording.  Lay down a grooving (danceable), funky (syncopated) beat.  Punchy rhythm guitar chops.  Melodic wailing lead.  Bluesy rough vocal.  Do big jams, and splice what you like together.  Do a final version.  ---  01/01/1993

Arts, music, composition.  ---  How to record without a four track.  (1) Rerecord riffs on two recorders.  (2) Keep building off them.  (3) Work up to one performance with everything arranged temporally, one after another.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Key to composition is your environment.  (1) Internal environment: mind (high t, high energy).  (2) External environment.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Layer riff over riff, complex rhythms and harmonies are interesting.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Lead or foreground vs. back up or background.  For any element.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Let the rhythms and words speak the anger.  Let the melody and wailing speak the pain, sadness.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Orchestration.  (1) One man versions: voice, guitar, harmonica, tapping foot.  (2) Power trio version: lead, bass, drum.  (3) Deuling guitars: lead and rhythm.  (4) Horns and organ added.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  PART ONE.  Musical notes and chords are often used interchangeably.  For example, when a musician plays a quick run of chords that trace a melodic line, it is using chords like notes.  Another example, a fast run of notes can sound like a chord, and is like using notes as chords.  A third example, when an electric guitarist plays a slow progression of notes through a speaker that amplifies, resonates and distorts the notes, it is like using notes as chords.     PART TWO.  Another way notes and chords are related is through "filling in" and "leaving out".  For example, if you fill in the gaps between the chords in a chord progression you essentially create a line of notes.  Another example, if you leave out some of the notes in a melodic line you have essentially created a chord progression.  PART THREE.  In a similar way, the beats in a rhythm can be either "filled in" or "left out".  This is an example of how melody and rhythm are related.  For example, when drums of various pitches, such as snare drum, tom-tom drum and base drum, are used in a musical work, the line between rhythm and melody is blurred.  (B) Melody and rhythm are related.  Changing the key of a melody is analogous to changing the tempo of a rhythm.  ---  11/12/2004

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Put all your pain and emotional energy into your compositions.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Rock and roll composition.  Best when young, with outrageous, out of your mind sex drive.  When you are older your drives, interests and concerns change.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Soloing and improvisation.  (1) How many measures to take?  (2) What are the chord changes in those measures?  (3) Create something individual, interesting, logical, complete, moving.  (4) Within a starting and ending time and pitch.  (5) Tell a story, with pauses along the way.  (6) How far to move away and stay away from main line song with all its elements (melody, harmony, rhythm)?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Sounds are put together vertically and horizontally (linearly).  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  The trick is to find a melodic hook or phrase, a cool interval, a rhythmic chop, or a cool progression that means something to you; that makes you feel emotion; that is unique, different, new or interesting.  Then build off it, adding to it while keeping the essence and integrity of the core idea.  ---  09/20/1994

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Unity vs. variation.  You must perfectly balance the two.  Avoid boredom of excess unity, and avoid incomprehensibility of excess variation.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  When your mental concepts change, your ability to write lyrics changes.  Ex. (1) Me now lyrics: "I am suffering a profound metaphysical identity crisis".  (2) Me then lyrics: "Oh, my head."  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, music, composition.  ---  Write an ultimate, prototypical song for each style.  Pick out an ultimate, prototypical song for each style from the existing world repertoire.  ---  12/30/1992

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